Five Z97 Express Motherboards, $160 To $220, Reviewed

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Drejeck

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I'd like some ITX Z97 and H97 with M.2 reviewed.
I'm buying the Asus Z97i-plus because it just mount a 2x M.2 2280 and 2260, and all other connectivity goodness, uninterested in overclocking unless the broadwell i5 K consume less than 90W :D
 

mapesdhs

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I recently bought a Z97I-Plus. Being so used to EATX boards as of late, I was a tad
stunned at how tiny even the packing box is. :D Just pairing it up with a G3258
initially to see how it behaves. Pondering a GTX 750 Ti, but kinda hoping NVIDIA
will release a newer version in Sept.

Ian.

 

Crashman

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Former Staff
They probably wanted to win based on features for the money? We know that the Wi-Fi ac has A $50 WI-FI CONTROLLER, what does the Hero add that's worth $50?

 

lp231

Splendid
The Asus ROG boards have a red line that lights up showing the audio path through it's build in LEDs, but the mainstream Z97 don't. I had a chance to take a look at one of the Asus Z97 board and took my phone's flash to shine in on it. The color was somewhat yellowish green and it looks really nice.
 

Memnarchon

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Hello. I think there are more reasons to buy a ROG product, instead of a Wi-Fi controller...
Better audio quality.
Better MOF-SETs.
Better inductors.
ROG BIOS.
Generally ROG boards have better quality parts.
But in the end we need the reviewers (like you) to review as many products as they can, so we can see the performance difference between them.
 

ssdpro

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They probably wanted to win based on features for the money? We know that the Wi-Fi ac has A $50 WI-FI CONTROLLER, what does the Hero add that's worth $50?
Nothing. No one would use wifi on a ROG board that is geared for gaming. I can't see many buyers of the Z97 Pro using wifi either for that matter. Unless of course you like to pack up your tower and walk around with it in one hand and your monitor in the other.
 

ssdpro

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They probably wanted to win based on features for the money? We know that the Wi-Fi ac has A $50 WI-FI CONTROLLER, what does the Hero add that's worth $50?
Nothing would be added, just better board quality. No one would use wifi on a ROG board that is geared for gaming. I can't see many buyers of the Z97 Pro using wifi either for that matter. Unless of course you like to pick up your tower and walk around with it in one hand and your monitor in the other tonguing the mouse for movement. But yes that would use that wifi controller.
 


Whole heartily agree! With any worth while gaming setup you wouldn't be playing games over wifi anyway. The slap in the face bandwidth wise is enough to keep people away. Lets check Intel Lan/Killer Nic yea I'll stick with one of those two thank you.
 

Chris Droste

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the nice things about the Asus board imo is i already have a PCIe 1x Soundblaster X-Fi and I really don't want it butting up to a lava-hot Volcanic Islands card. the port placement lets me keep that card way down, and keeps me from having to worry about how good on-board audio is for at least another generation. Yeah, it's a $220, but Microcenter has a deal (on top of best CPU prices) to nab the 4790k + this board for $160 as a combo deal. makes for a smokin' offer imo
 

Crashman

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The problem for Asus is that they like to win awards. Costlier components don't boost a review rating when they don't boost performance or overclocking. In case you missed it, MOST of Asus' deluxe boards have out-overclocked MOST of its ROG boards in Tom's Hardware's tests.

As for Wi-Fi, I've occasionally set up mine as an access point.
 

Memnarchon

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My apologies for the delay of responding. Due to a surgery after medial meniscus injury, I can't [removed] sit too much on my PC desk for some weeks.
Indeed, every company wants awards in their product page to show how good their product is.
Well, "Deluxe" products could be able to compete in o/c since they have similar PWM phases used. They also have same quality inductors. On the other hand "Pro" products aren't the same as "Deluxe" (they have a good difference in their price as well) and they are missing the things I just wrote (apart from other fearures...).
Also from the time Asus first release a cheap (~$200) ROG motherboard (Hero and Ranger joined a year later...), Tom's Hardware didn't made a review on them yet. And the only Z97/Z87/Z77 Asus ROG product in the reviews is the Z87 Maximus VI Formula, which won an elite award. Asus seems to send Deluxe and Pro products all the time, but they rarely send an ROG motherboard. So I think there is a large margin of error in comparing just one product to a lot of others, the results will be heavily affected by the result of one product (Maximus Formula).
For Wi-Fi, I just use my router's controller which was provided by my ISP, free of charge...
ps: I couldn't miss it since I read Tom's Hardware daily (mostly waiting for each day's article, apart from weekends which you almost never do) with a cup of coffee, like most people read a newspaper, the last five years :).
ps2: I would love to hear also raja@asus opinion on this.

Watch the language. - G
edit: Sorry G, I didn't noticed it. I mistyped...
 

Crashman

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EVGA only wanted to show a more-expensive model and asked that they be informed when that roundup is planned.
 

therogerwilco

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Sorry but ASRock lost my vote when they gave me gruff over a sata port failing and I proved the drive was 100%

Besides their hardware has gotten pretty flaky over the years. They're even desperate enough to do a Fatality board.. lol (that guys a dooosh)
 

RedJaron

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This has nothing to do with last ditch desperation. They've been marketing a Fatality line for years now, since the P67/Z68 chipsets.
 
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